This is a classic New York-style pizza joint. There's no decor aside from the requisite cheese and pepperoni art prints and a flashing neon "open" sign. Hurried servers juggle multiple slices as busy downtown workers expend their half-hour lunch breaks on cheap grub. The first Mario's opened in 1969, and many branches have followed, with varying quality. The pasta and meat dishes are unremarkable, but the cheese pizza has a tasty crust and plenty of the gooey stuff. If you're not a purist, try a specialty topping such as homemade sausage, homemade meatballs, or fresh mushrooms. The franchise is also famous for garlic rolls, and for good reason — the moist, fluffy buns are drenched in enough olive oil to supply a small town in Italy; they're seasoned with the perfect oregano-garlic ratio.
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In terms of romantic ambiance, the location of this Italian-American eatery would initially seem best described as convenient; it's in the supremely low-rent Redbird Mall, and except for some very cute 3-D paintings of Italian stree...